Moments in Time: Bridal Tips from Kat Ramnani-Bautista
A reflection of these couples’ romantic histories and commitments, four brides share how their dream weddings came to life. Shauna Jay Popple Williams takes you along for the nostalgic ride and culls invaluable advice for future brides-to-be
Describe the proposal.
It was in Venice, in our hotel room. We had been travelling through Greece and Italy for a few weeks, and I had an inkling he was going to propose…by the time we got to Venice, I was so fed up! I was frustrated and trying to understand why the proposal hadn’t happened! Then he surprised me, while I was in my Winnie the Pooh duster looking for chocolate. His words were so poignant, he explained why he wanted the proposal to be private, and I couldn’t have agreed more. We kept it a secret and didn’t tell anyone until we landed in Manila five days later. It was perfect, and my duster has been preserved to capture the memory of that evening.
What was the overall look and theme of your big day?
We went for light, ethereal, and used a lot of greenery. Christian is a landscape architect graduate from UP so we wanted to honour his degree by putting in a lot of plants and for me to achieve the ethereal look, hydrangeas and baby’s breath.
Which wedding Apps, sites and bridal Instagram accounts did you follow for inspiration?
Inbal Dror for dresses and Bride and Breakfast for tips and tricks. But most of the inspiration came from my husband, really. My motivation was to be able to tell our story to our guests through the elements of our wedding. From the music—Christian composed my bridal march by rendering his own version of our favourite song “Ligaya” by the Eraserheads, to the types of flowers we used. Even our cake from Naked Patisserie, which we built from scratch to express my love for doughnuts. Every part of the wedding encompassed a bit of our story. That’s what inspired me and continued to keep me inspired as we planned our wedding.
What were your wedding party favours?
Ours told our story; we gave out wedding favours that were an amalgamation of our favourite things in Bali. Wrapped in woven pouches by local artisans (Christian and I are big fans of the Bali art community) were Bali Pod chocolate bars with avours such as chilli, orange and pandan (we are huge chocolate lovers); Kopi Lewak, noted for being one of the rarest coffees in the world (we are big coffee drinkers); and, since I am a mosquito magnet, my favourite repellant I found in Bali, which smells like massage oil.
What was a magical moment for you?
The vows. Christian’s vows to me were so truthful, well written, and poignant. I was trying very hard not to cry so that he wouldn’t start crying when he was reading them. I broke down after when we just had a moment between the two of us, away from the guests. I keep his vows in a special box—it is the best love letter I have ever been written.
Was there a surprise element that you can reveal to us?
I am a notoriously horrible singer. I have stage fright and everyone knows this. My husband, on the other hand, is a singer—a great one!—so I wanted to do something he wouldn’t expect. With the help of my good friend, Quark Henares, we came up with the idea of me learning to play the ukelele and singing “Grow Old With You.” Only ve people knew about this; Quark, my wedding planners, my MOH, and my brother-in-law, Jordan, who spent four months teaching me how to play the instrument and sing. The look on my husband’s face when I was done said it all. It was the perfect gift.
What were the most challenging parts of organising a destination wedding?
Destination weddings are beautiful. It’s such a unique experience to be in a different country with your loved ones. I mean… when would this ever happen again? Probably never. It is not easy though. On top of planning a wedding, you have to deal with things like language barriers, price differences, import tax if you are bringing things in, additional expenses like paying for ights and hotels, and relinquishing some control because, due to distance, there are some things that you really won’t be able to see or do. I’m glad we did it.
Did you plan your big day with a strict budget in mind? Can you share some tips?
The first conversation we had was how much we were both willing to contribute to our wedding. Once I had that down on our shared excel sheet, I started to work backwards on cost. I allocated portions to venue, food, alcohol, lodging, entertainment, flowers, and added in a 15 per cent leeway for ad hoc expenses.
For me, the expense priority was our “customers’ experience.” This meant we prioritised food, entertainment, transportation, photos and videos. We brought in an art market and money changer so that our guests could shop, and even included a silent disco, cigar bar, henna station, ip ops changing station, dancers, and other surprises to add novelty day after day.
It’s also important to prioritise your photos and videos, because at the end of the day, that is all you will be left with—great memories. Jason Magbanua and Pat Dy truly delivered.One of my biggest tips for a destination wedding is that you will be seeing the same people over the course of two to three days, so continually adding in elements of surprise will delight your guests and give them something new to talk about and encourage new friendships and conversations.
We cut our budget on disposable expenses such as owers. We also forwent the traditional route on invitations and I worked with an existing App platform to integrate a website I built to turn our invites into an App.
Kat Ramnani & Christian Bautista
When: November 17, 2018
Where: The Glass House, Tirtha Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
State of the Heart
“Just Kat Bautista. No hyphen,” affirms the beaming newlywed, Mrs. Bautista, adding, “My friends have transitioned from calling me KatRam to KatBau.”
Quite the communicator, Kat, being the Director of Strategy and Program Management of Content Business for Globe Telecom, found her creative and vocal match in the renowned international actor and singing sensation, Christian Bautista.
They met through a common friend, Cesca Litton, in 2015. Litton had invited her church friends to join her at Breakout Manila (an escape room), to which both attended and then became friends that evening.
A romance blossomed shortly after and they tied the knotin Bali, Indonesia, at the beautiful Glass House in Tirtha Uluwatu. Said Christian, “Watching my wife walk down the aisle. It was such a special moment, I was captivated—while all eyes were on her, she was looking at me. It was a memory I will always treasure.”
“We had guests from Manila, Spain, Germany, England, Singapore, Jakarta, and of course my second home – California. Getting married in Bali with 85 of our closest friends is something we will never forget. It was such an experience in what we shared with people we loved, and, also an experience that we all shared.”
- Photography Pat Dy